Best Drill Bit Sharpener Reviews 2017
Is it really worth while sharpening your drill bits? If so, what is the best drill sharpener? Or are you better simply tossing them out and just buying new drill bits?
Up and down the country there must be millions of blunt and abandoned drill bits simple laying around the homes of many people. One this is certain, there are certainly many millions of these sold.
If you don’t believe me, just take a look in any guy’s workshop and you will most likely see an array of bits that are dull, abandoned or have been used a few times and then chucked into a drawer.
The Throw Away Society
We are all probably a little bit guilty of being members of the throw away society. Sometimes it is just easier to throw something away and buy a new version, than to consider fixing it up.
Think of a hole in your socks and you will know what I mean. The ancient art of darning seems to have all but disappeared.
Drill bits in my opinion falls into this category. It is just quicker and easier to buy some new bits rather than go to the bother of getting them sharpened. That may not be true for everyone, but I think it is fair to say, it is true for the majority of people.
To prove this point I had a look around my brother’s garage and he is not someone who would do a lot of work with drills, but here is what I found.
Around 20 different sized masonry bits – 6 never used, 8 that had been used a few times and the others he was not sure about. We could tell by looking at the other 6 bits that they had got some use, though not a lot.
I am guessing that this is pretty typical of many workshops and garages up and down the country. There will of course be some with no such problems, but most guys will have some type of drill bits in their kit.
Buying Drill Bit Sets
Many people buy a set of drill bits in different sizes but invariably only end up ever using a couple of the bits. That means there will always be a number of sizes that never get used.
The more popular sizes will get a lot of use and will wear down quickly. People will then either go out and buy another bit the same size or just buy another set as they see that as better value.
Does it Not Make Sense to Sharpen Your Existing Drill Bits?
I think the answer to this is that it depends. for someone like me who used an electric drill and drill bits every day of my life, you better believe it makes more sense. For someone who is a keen hobbyist or loves their DIY, then again I think it makes a great deal of sense to sharpen your existing bits, rather than buy new ones.
If however you are just someone who uses a drill bit to do a couple of jobs, and then will not use or need it again for a few months, then I would not bother worrying about sharpening bits. It would be simpler and more cost effective just to pop out and buy exactly what you need.
Cost of A Good Drill Sharpener
Depending on the model and what type of bits you can sharpen, the price for a good sharpener will vary from around $90-150. The most popular brand is one known as the “Drill Doctor,” and I have to say they are very good products indeed.
There are a few other sharpeners out there that also do a reasonable job for around $40-50, but like most things in life, you do get what you pay for.
The one shown to the left can sharpen all the popular types of bits including, high speed steel, masonry, cobalt, carbide and even TiN coated.
It can also handle drill bit sizes from 3/32-inch to 3/4-inch standard twist bits and can create/remove split points.
The angles it can handle are from 115° to 140° which is ideal for almost every type of drill bit.
The initial investment may seem high at around $140, but this sharpener can save you a fortune over time. Rather than trying to use an old blunt bit, or buy a new one, it can be sharpened in seconds.
DIY Drill Sharpening By Hand
I think it is worth mentioning that you can do this sharpening manually. However the huge problem facing people who try to do this is having the skills,the knowledge and the tools to be able to pull this off.
I did learn how to do this as part of a metal work course I did many years ago, but it took me quite a few attempts and quite a few ruined drill bits to master the technique.
You will need:
- A Bench Grinder
A metal ruler
Here is a video of someone showing you how to do this using a method called free handing.
You can do this ok but to be honest I just find it slow and cumbersome. Here is another video where a guy shows you how to use a simple wooden jig to use, when sharpening your bits to the most common included angle which is of course 118 degrees.